Who, given the choice, wouldn't give their grandmother surgery? Not you nor I and clearly not Mr. Obama. And since no one would voluntarily deny service to their grandmother only one conclusion can be drawn. The independent group's guidance must be determinative, otherwise, what's the point?
The President: I don't know how much that hip replacement cost. I would have paid out of pocket for that hip replacement just because she's my grandmother. Whether, sort of in the aggregate, society making those decisions to give my grandmother, or everybody else's aging grandparents or parents, a hip replacement when they're terminally ill is a sustainable model, is a very difficult question. If somebody told me that my grandmother couldn't have a hip replacement and she had to lie there in misery in the waning days of her life—that would be pretty upsetting.
Mr. Leonhardt: And it's going to be hard for people who don't have the option of paying for it.
The President: So that's where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues. But that's also a huge driver of cost, right? I mean, the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here.
Mr. Leonhardt: So how do you—how do we deal with it?
The President: Well, I think that there is going to have to be a conversation that is guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists. And then there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place. It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels. And that's part of why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance. It's not determinative, but I think has to be able to give you some guidance. And that's part of what I suspect you'll see emerging out of the various health care conversations that are taking place on the Hill right now.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
This weekends Wall Street Journal has an old interview of President Obama on health care
F. at 10:36 PM